RSS newspaper justifies ban on women in Shani temple sanctum

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 02, 2016 07:46 IST
The editorial supported the idea of banning women from entering the inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur temple, though it did suggest resolving the controversy via ‘respectful dialogue’. (PTI Photo)

An RSS-linked weekly has sought to justify the tradition of banning women from entering the inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur temple, but favoured a resolution of the dispute through ‘respectful dialogue’.

An editorial in the ‘Organiser’ cited reforms initiated during pre-independence days and invoked figures like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who felt that reformation had to come from within through a dialogue process, a thought reiterated by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in his last Vijayadashami speech.

“The ‘rationalists’ have to explain whether they want to forcefully worship the God they do not believe in or to respect the sentiments of people who believe in it. People who do not have the courage to question the heinous practices in organised religion should do away with this age-old practice of making the Hindu way of life a convenient target,” it said.

The editorial added, “In case of Shani Shingnapur in Maharashtra, there is a 400-year-old tradition of banning women from entering its sanctum sanctorum. Women activists from the Bhumata Brigade, led by Trupti Desai, tried to forcefully enter the temple to break this tradition.”

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